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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

ANF Summer Season Starts Friday

Warren, Pa. – Recreation facilities on the Allegheny National Forest will be opened and fully operational Friday, May 23rd, for the summer recreation season.

Fees: Fees for campgrounds range from $12 to $24. Each campground has sites that are first-come, first-served, and many have sites that can be reserved. Group camping areas require reservations, except at Hearts Content, and are $50 per night. Six rustic cabins are available at Willow Bay Campground for a fee of $55-65 per night. Please check our website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/allegheny/recreation/camping or call 814-362-4613 for fee information.

Double Sites: In response to many requests for adjacent family campsites, some double sites that can accommodate up to 14 people per night have been identified at Buckaloons and Twin Lakes Campgrounds for a rate of $32-36. The double sites are listed with the National Recreation Reservation Service.

Reservations: All reservations are handled through the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or through their website at http://www.recreation.gov. Reservations may be made 240 days in advance and must be made at least 4 days in advance of the scheduled arrival date. Reservations may be made all year, but sites are reservable only from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Annual, Senior and Access Passes: These passports are available at the Supervisor’s Office in Warren and at the Bradford and Marienville Ranger District Offices. The Senior and Access passports entitle the holder to a 50% discount on single-family campsites (utilities not included) at Allegheny NF campgrounds and boat launches. The Annual Pass is not accepted at any site on the Allegheny NF.

Summer hours beginning Friday, May 23rd through Labor Day: The Marienville Ranger District will be open seven days a week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; the Bradford Ranger District will be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; and the Supervisor’s Office in Warren is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Marienville Office will also be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day; the Supervisor’s Office and Bradford Ranger District will be closed on those Holidays.

Bradford District: High water levels may preclude some Allegheny Reservoir recreation facilities from being available for use this Memorial Day weekend. All campgrounds are open, however, some waterfront campsites may not be useable due to the water level. Kinzua Beach will be open for picnicking, but the swim area will not be open until reservoir waters recede. Kinzua Dam Concessions Inc., the food service provider at Kinzua Beach is back and will be offering for sale a variety of food items and camping supplies through Labor Day weekend. Boat launches are open, but the courtesy docks at Kiasutha, Elijah Run, Webb’s Ferry, Willow Bay and Kinzua Wolf Run Marina may not be useable due to high reservoir water levels. Potable drinking water will not be provided at Morrison Boat Access Campground this year. Campers and hikers using the Morrison trail are advised to bring their own drinking water.

Marienville District: All ATV trails are open. Forest Road 113 will close for road work at some point after Memorial Day. Users should check the website for updates on the road. The Spring Creek horse trail is open.

Protecting Bald Eagles and Osprey: The Allegheny NF is home to the bald eagle, nesting on the Allegheny and Clarion Rivers as well as the Allegheny Reservoir. Fishing line, discarded along the shoreline of Allegheny National Forest waterways, is a potential hazard to foraging bald eagles. Anglers can help ensure bald eagle safety by not discarding unwanted fishing line or lures on the shoreline. Anglers can take an additional step and pick up lines and lures left behind by anglers using the area before them. Anglers are urged to dispose of unwanted line and lures in proper receptacles to keep the shores and waterways safe and clean for both people and wildlife. To avoid disturbing young nestlings, boaters and canoeists should not approach too closely to eagle nests. If an eagle flies off the nest or is vocalizing (screaming), you are too close. Osprey also nest on the Allegheny Reservoir. To avoid nest abandonment, boaters should not approach these nesting birds.

Zebra Mussels: Inspect your boat for “hitchhiker” zebra mussels prior to launching into the Allegheny Reservoir or River. If you are moving your watercraft from one waterway to another, always drain the water, remove any plants caught on equipment, including the trailer, and dispose of unwanted bait on land. Wash your watercraft and equipment with high-pressure hot water (a car wash works well), or rinse your watercraft and equipment with hot water (hotter than 110 degrees). In the absence of hot water, cold pressured water will dislodge mussels or air drying of watercraft for at least five days will kill the mussels.

Firewood: Please do not move firewood into the Allegheny NF because of the danger of bringing in a tree-killing insect. Non-native invasive insects, such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle, live inside the wood until they become adults, and then exit the wood and fly away to start their life cycle anew. The Allegheny NF has a closure order restricting the use of firewood from outside the four counties of Elk, Forest, McKean, and Warren. The movement of firewood by campers is the number one reason insects are moved to new areas. Buy your firewood near your campsite or pick it up from the ground near your campsite. Burn all firewood before you leave your campsite. The campfire ashes should be cold to the touch of your hand before it is considered safe to leave your campsite.

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